“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an extensive endogenous signaling system with multiple elements, the number of which may be increasing as scientists continue to elucidate its role in human health and disease. The ECS is seemingly ubiquitous in animal species and is modulated by diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and a multitude of other factors, including exposure to phytocannabinoids, like Cannabidiol (CBD). Modulating the activity of this system may offer tremendous therapeutic promise for a diverse scope of diseases, ranging from mental health disorders, neurological and movement disorders, pain, autoimmune disease, spinal cord injury, cancer, cardiometabolic disease, stroke, TBI, osteoporosis, and others.”
“This article reviews preclinical and human studies examining the effects of CBD administration on alcohol responses. Preliminary preclinical results suggest that CBD can attenuate alcohol consumption and potentially protect against certain harmful effects of alcohol, such as liver and brain damage.”
“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound of cannabis, which exerts complex and widespread immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, and antiepileptic properties. Many experimental data suggest that CBD could have several types of application in alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-related damage on the brain and the liver.
Experimental studies converge to find that CBD reduces the overall level of alcohol drinking in animal models of AUD by reducing ethanol intake, motivation for ethanol, relapse, and by decreasing anxiety and impulsivity. Moreover, CBD has been shown to reduce alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis in the liver by reducing lipid accumulation, stimulating autophagy, modulating inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and inducing death of activated hepatic stellate cells. Last, CBD has been found to reduce alcohol-related brain damage, preventing neuronal loss by its antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.
CBD could directly reduce alcohol drinking in subjects with AUD. But other original applications warrant human trials in this population. By reducing alcohol-related processes of steatosis in the liver, and brain alcohol-related damage, CBD could improve both the hepatic and neurocognitive outcomes of subjects with AUD, regardless of the individual drinking trajectories. This might pave the way for testing new harm reduction approaches in AUD, i.e., for protecting the organs of subjects with an ongoing AUD.”
“Neurological dysfunctions are the most impactful and persistent consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Indeed, previous reports suggest that an association between TBI and chronic pain syndromes, as well anxio-depressive behaviors, tends to be more common in patients with mild forms of TBI. At present, no effective treatment options are available for these symptoms.
In the present study, we used a weight drop mild TBI mouse model to investigate the effect of a commercially available 10% Cannabidiol (CBD) oil on both the sensorial and neuropsychiatric dysfunctions associated with mild TBI through behavioral and biomolecular approaches.
TBI mice developed chronic pain associated with anxious and aggressive behavior, followed by a late depressive-like behavior and impaired social interaction. Such behaviors were related with specific changes in neurotransmitters release at cortical levels.
CBD oral treatment restored the behavioral alterations and partially normalized the cortical biochemical changes.
In conclusion, our data show some of the brain modifications probably responsible for the behavioral phenotype associated with TBI and suggest the CBD as a pharmacological tool to improve neurological dysfunctions caused by the trauma.”
“Preconditioning, a phenomenon where a minor noxious stimulus protects from a subsequent more severe insult, and post-conditioning, where the protective intervention is applied following the insult, offer new insight into the neuronal mechanism(s) of neuroprotection and may provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of brain damage. We have previously reported that a single administration of an extremely low dose of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana) to mice induced minor long-lasting cognitive deficits.
In the present study we examined the possibility that such a low dose of THC will protect the mice from more severe cognitive deficits induced by the epileptogenic drug pentylenetetrazole (PTZ). THC (0.002 mg/kg, a dose that is 3-4 orders of magnitude lower than the doses that induce the conventional effects of THC) was administered 1-7 days before, or 1-3 days after the injection of PTZ (60 mg/kg). The consequences of this treatment were studied 3-7 weeks later by various behavioral tests that evaluated different aspects of memory and learning.
We found that a single administration of THC either before or after PTZ abolished the PTZ-induced long-lasting cognitive deficits.
Biochemical studies indicated a concomitant reduction in phosphorylated-ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) in the cerebella of mice 7 weeks following the injection of THC.
Our results suggest that a pre- or post-conditioning treatment with extremely low doses of THC, several days before or after brain injury, may provide safe and effective long-term neuroprotection.”
“Preclinical work shows cannabidiol as a promising drug to manage neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (NHIBD). The molecular mechanism is not well defined but the beneficial effects of this phytocannabinoid are blocked by antagonists of both cannabinoid CB2(CB2R) and serotonin 5-HT1A (5-HT1AR) receptors that, in addition, may form heteromers in a heterologous expression system. Using bioluminescence energy transfer, we have shown a direct interaction of the two receptors that leads to a particular signaling in a heterologous system. A property attributed to the heteromer, namely cross-antagonism, was found in primary cultures of neurons thus indicating the occurrence of the receptor heteromer in the CNS. Oxygen-glucose deprivation to neurons led to an increase of CB2R-mediated signaling and an upregulation of CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex expression. In situ proximity ligation assays in brain cortical section were performed to compare the expression of CB2-5-HT1A complexes in rat E20 fetuses and at different postnatal days. The expression, which is elevated in fetus and shortly after birth, was sharply reduced at later ages (even at P7). The expression of heteromer receptors was more marked in a model of NHIBD and, remarkably, the drop in expression was significantly delayed with respect to controls. These results indicate that CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex may be considered as a target in the therapy of the NHIBD.”
“The effect of cannabidiol (CBD), a high-affinity agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid-2 (TRPV2) channel, has been poorly investigated in human brain microvessel endothelial cells (BMEC) forming the blood-brain barrier (BBB). TRPV2 expression and its role on Ca2+ cellular dynamics, trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER), cell viability and growth, migration, and tubulogenesis were evaluated in human primary cultures of BMEC (hPBMEC) or in the human cerebral microvessel endothelial hCMEC/D3 cell line. Abundant TRPV2 expression was measured in hCMEC/D3 and hPBMEC by qRT-PCR, Western blotting, nontargeted proteomics, and cellular immunofluorescence studies. Intracellular Ca2+ levels were increased by heat and CBD and blocked by the nonspecific TRP antagonist ruthenium red (RR) and the selective TRPV2 inhibitor tranilast (TNL) or by silencing cells with TRPV2 siRNA. CBD dose-dependently induced the hCMEC/D3 cell number (EC50 0.3 ± 0.1 μM), and this effect was fully abolished by TNL or TRPV2 siRNA. A wound healing assay showed that CBD induced cell migration, which was also inhibited by TNL or TRPV2 siRNA. Tubulogenesis of hCMEC/D3 cells in 3D matrigel cultures was significantly increased by 41 and 73% after a 7 or 24 h CBD treatment, respectively, and abolished by TNL. CBD also increased the TEER of hPBMEC monolayers cultured in transwell, and this was blocked by TNL. Our results show that CBD, at extracellular concentrations close to those observed in plasma of patients treated by CBD, induces proliferation, migration, tubulogenesis, and TEER increase in human brain endothelial cells, suggesting CBD might be a potent target for modulating the human BBB.”
“Cannabis is one of the most widely used plant drugs in the world today. In spite of the large number of scientific reports on medical marijuana there still exists much controversy surrounding its use and the potential for abuse due to the undesirable psychotropic effects. However, recent developments in medicinal chemistry of novel non-psychoactive synthetic cannabinoids have indicated that it is possible to separate some of the therapeutic effects from the psychoactivity. We have previously shown that treatment with the endocannabinoid 2-AG that binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors 1 hr after traumatic brain injury in mice attenuates neurological deficits, edema formation, infarct volume, blood-brain barrier permeability, neuronal cell loss at the CA3 hippocampal region and neuroinflammation. Recently, we synthesized a set of camphor-resorcinol derivatives, which represent a novel series of CB2 receptor selective ligands. Most of the novel compounds exhibited potent binding and agonistic properties at the CB2 receptors, with very low affinity for the CB1 receptor, and some were highly anti-inflammatory. This selective binding correlated with their intrinsic activities. HU-910 and HU-914 were selected in the present study to evaluate their potential effect in the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In mice and rats, subjected to closed head injury and treated with these novel compounds, we showed enhanced neurobehavioral recovery, inhibition of TNF-alpha production, increased synaptogenesis and partial recovery of the cortical spinal tract. We propose these CB2 agonists as potential drugs for development of novel therapeutic modality to TBI.”
“Hypothermia, the gold standard after a hypoxic-ischemic insult, is not beneficial in all treated newborns.
Cannabidiol is neuroprotective in animal models of newborn hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
This study compared the relative efficacies of cannabidiol and hypothermia in newborn hypoxic-ischemic piglets and assessed whether addition of cannabidiol augments hypothermic neuroprotection.
HI led to sustained depressed brain activity and increased microglial activation, which was significantly improved by cannabidiol alone or with hypothermia but not by hypothermia alone. Hypoxic-ischemic-induced increases in Lac/NAA, Glu/NAA, TNFα or apoptosis were not reversed by either hypothermia or cannabidiol alone, but combination of the therapies did. No treatment modified the effects of HI on oxidative stress or astroglial activation. Cannabidiol treatment was well tolerated.
cannabidiol administration after hypoxia-ischemia in piglets offers some neuroprotective effects but the combination of cannabidiol and hypothermia shows some additive effect leading to more complete neuroprotection than cannabidiol or hypothermia alone.”
“Cannabinoid-based interventions are being explored for central nervous system (CNS) pathologies such as neurodegeneration, demyelination, epilepsy, stroke, and trauma. As these disease states involve dysregulation of myelin integrity and/or remyelination, it is important to consider effects of the endocannabinoid system on oligodendrocytes and their precursors. In this review, we examine research reports on the effects of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) components on oligodendrocytes and their precursors, with a focus on therapeutic implications. Cannabinoid ligands and modulators of the endocannabinoid system promote cell signaling in oligodendrocyte precursor survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation, and mature oligodendrocyte survival and myelination. Agonist stimulation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) at both CB1 and CB2 receptors counter apoptotic processes via Akt/PI3K, and promote proliferation via Akt/mTOR and ERK pathways. CB1 receptors in radial glia promote proliferation and conversion to progenitors fated to become oligodendroglia, whereas CB2 receptors promote OPC migration in neonatal development. OPCs produce 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), stimulating cannabinoid receptor-mediated ERK pathways responsible for differentiation to arborized, myelin basic protein (MBP)-producing oligodendrocytes. In cell culture models of excitotoxicity, increased reactive oxygen species, and depolarization-dependent calcium influx, CB1 agonists improved viability of oligodendrocytes. In transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion models of anoxic stroke, WIN55212-2 increased OPC proliferation and maturation to oligodendroglia, thereby reducing cerebral tissue damage. In several models of rodent encephalomyelitis, chronic treatment with cannabinoid agonists ameliorated the damage by promoting OPC survival and oligodendrocyte function. Pharmacotherapeutic strategies based upon ECS and oligodendrocyte production and survival should be considered.”